2.18.2010

The Oyster Party Chez Madame Bohemienne



Yesterday I spent the afternoon cooking with Madame Sportif (my French neighbor). We spent four hours cooking, eating and chatting. I unearthed a wealth of information on how to live Comme les Français and cannot wait to share it with you! In the meantime, I have been poring through my journals and was recalled of a very special dinner party chez Madame Bohemienne that I thought you might enjoy…

One day I received a call from BP saying that Madame Bohemienne had a surprise for us and would I be able to come over for dinner that evening? I was intrigued and could hardly refuse. I took the forty-minute metro ride from the 16th arrondissement to Chez Bohemienne and walked up those ten flights of steps wondering what surprise could possibly await me…

It turned out Madame Bohemienne had just visited Brittany and had brought back with her an entire crate of fresh oysters. I nearly fainted with delight. Now many people do not like oysters. I am not one of those people. I love oysters. Mon Dieu how I love oysters! And I had never seen so many before my eyes as I had in that moment. I eagerly helped BP and her two sons set the table. Oysters were shucked, music was playing, we opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate and we sat down to feast.

Delicious is an inadequate word to describe that meal. The oysters (accompanied with mignonette sauce and big pieces of crusty French bread and real butter) were divine. The champagne bubbles delighted my tongue and left me feeling delirious. Afterward we ended with a delicious slice of Camembert.

It was a simple meal, but one of the best I’ve ever had. I don’t know how many oysters I ate that evening but I felt like a heroin in a Molière play (Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme springs to mind). There was something so wonderful about spoiling ourselves in such a decadent manner... I shall never forget my first oyster dinner party, Comme les Français...


Still Life with Wine Goblet and Oysters by Pieter Claesz is pictured above (dated 1630).

11 comments:

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

Lovely story! There are some meals that are so memorable and I love remembering them in detail like you just did. Perfect simplicity!

Michael Rivers said...

I have never tried oysters. Perhaps one day I will. Especially if there is champagne!

Andi said...

I have just dined vicariously with you and I am in heaven, pass the bottle.

M.Lane said...

How true! The simple meal is often the one you remember years later. Particularly in good company.

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

Rebecca said...

I have never been a big oyster fan, but this story makes me want them! I love the simplicity of the meal.

Fiona said...

Great story Jennifer. J'adore oysters, fresh from the shell with a little lemon juice.

Paris Pastry said...

Lovely story! I can't wait to read the tales of Madame Sportif!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the story. It was one of those memories that I had not revisited in a while. I occasionally go out for oysters in Santa Monica and every time I do, I think of Madame Bohemienne and that wonderful night! I have to admit- the hypochondriac in me first viewed the crate of oysters and thought "what if one of them is bad!" but then after the first one, I just didn't care! And, of course, they were not bad- none of them were. They were the best oysters I've ever had in my life. What a treat! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend xo

Mélanie said...

Wonderful story !! You seemed to have a lot of fun

The Coastal Chicster said...

i love these little stories. :) you're making me wish i enjoyed eating oysters. :)

BigLittleWolf said...

Lovely. (And I cannot believe that for all my trips to France I've yet to have oysters! But I have certainly made up for that in local cheeses.)

 
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